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Last Words Of Dalit Scholar Rohith Vemula, Whose Suicide Has Sparked Nationwide Protests

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Editor’s note: On the night of 17th January, Rohith Vemula, a research scholar at the University of Hyderabad, committed suicide. He was one of the five Dalit scholars who had been expelled from the University last year after an altercation with a rival student group. A student from the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad had allegedly falsely accused them of assaultin a tiff that took place when Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) had organised a protest against the disruption of the screening of ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’ in Delhi University. After spending two weeks sleeping in the open to protest, Vemula and other students had started a hunger strike early Sunday to demand the cancellation of their suspension.
In his suicide note, Rohith apologises to the ASA for disappointing them and asks for forgiveness. He also requests that his “friends and enemies” are not bothered after his death.

“Good morning,

I would not be around when you read this letter. Don’t get angry on me. I know some of you truly cared for me, loved me and treated me very well. I have no complaints on anyone. It was always with myself I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. And I have become a monster. I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write.

I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.

The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In very field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living.

I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense.

May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding world. In understanding love, pain, life, death. There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. Desperate to start a life. All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.

I am not hurt at this moment. I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. That’s pathetic. And that’s why I am doing this.

People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. I am not bothered about what I am called. I don’t believe in after-death stories, ghosts, or spirits. If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars. And know about the other worlds.

If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get 7 months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Please see to it that my family is paid that. I have to give some 40 thousand to Ramji. He never asked them back. But please pay that to him from that.

Let my funeral be silent and smooth. Behave like I just appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. Know that I am happy dead than being alive.

‘From shadows to the stars.’

Uma anna, sorry for using your room for this thing.

To ASA [Ambedkar Students Association] family, sorry for disappointing all of you. You loved me very much. I wish all the very best for the future.

For one last time,

Jai Bheem

I forgot to write the formalities. No one is responsible for my this act of killing myself.

No one has instigated me, whether by their acts or by their words to this act.

This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this.

Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone.”

You must be to comment.
  1. devender

    RIP, Nation lost a great leader and a great writer, probably a movie star (your smart looks). I wish your dream comes true in after life.

  2. Sheeba Sulthana

    I don’t know what to say. Yep. Suicide isn’t cowardly. Sometimes, suicide is a release.

    I am so sorry that the world lost you. Coz it is indeed that. I hope you have reached the stars you wanted to touch. I hope it’s quiet and peaceful there. I hope it is everything Earth wasn’t.

    Much love,
    Sheeba.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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